Tharia Vask has never believed in the stars. They guide your fate, the story goes, but when have physics ever influenced the future? Even more ridiculous are the rumors hikers spread of stars in the mountains, as if they could cast off heat and mass on a whim and come to earth.
Stars are a myth. Tharia firmly believes this—until she encounters a light, deep in the woods.
The healers tell her she succumbed to hypothermia and hallucinated the experience. She used to say the same of anyone who claimed to have seen Stars. But this time, it’s different. The light has marked her, etching its existence into her palm.
When several Stars appear at a festival and level the venue, a man named Verno Lasien approaches her, claiming to be a researcher studying the strange lights. They’re called Lumelles, they’re weapons, and they’ve bonded to her mind. They’ll destroy her if she’s not careful. Claiming that Tharia is the key to understanding what they are, Verno proposes that she join House Lasien and assist with the research, maybe finding a way to save her sanity in the process. The alternative? Remain home until a vengeful mob assembles to lynch her.
Convinced that he’s a Paselle, someone with power over thoughts, Tharia is loath to believe a word he says, but surrounded by the destruction wrought by her ignorance, she has little choice. Reluctantly, she accompanies him to the neighboring country.
Tharia has always been a skeptic, but as the hidden reality behind the Lumelles emerges, she realizes that she hasn’t questioned nearly enough. Uncovering the truth of the Stars might save her mind, but it will shatter her world.
Tharia's prior belief in the Stars is irrelevant to the story, but the Stars themselves are significant and this seems like a good way to preface their introduction. Is opening the query this way misleading?
Much of the conflict in the book stems from events in the past; the revelation of these events is the driving force behind the second half. The events themselves are a major plot twist; would it be better to mention the past, or leave it out?